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Human Rights Council
28 September 2006
Ms. Louise Arbour
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
on the occasion of the
2nd Session of the Human Rights Council
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am grateful for this additional opportunity to address you and present my own report, as well as those produced by my Office from 2005 to February 2006. I will refrain from discussing all our reports in detail: I will focus instead on those trends and issues, together with particular situations, that have engaged my Office more intensely.
As you know, a number of new field presences of OHCHR were opened last year, including—but not limited to—Uganda, Guatemala, Togo, and Nepal on which I reported last week. As part of the efforts to improve engagement with countries where OHCHR does not have a direct presence, we have also strengthened our support at the regional level. I will now turn to some of the countries in which our field engagement has been substantial.
OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES
I have repeatedly expressed my concerns at the deteriorating situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. As elsewhere, human rights advocacy cannot by itself offer adequate protection to vulnerable civilians or ensure respect for human rights. Only a political solution to this conflict will bring an end to the loss of life, immense suffering and hardship. But pending that, compliance by all duty bearers with their responsibilities under international humanitarian and human rights law is of the utmost importance. Soon, I will have an opportunity to conduct a first-hand assessment of the situation by visiting Israel and the OPT. We stand ready to contribute to any measure that could improve human rights conditions there.